Our branch has a long history of supporting STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) projects, as in the 1980s we were one of the first branches in the nation to organize a local Expanding Your Horizons Math-Science Conference for girls. We were among the first branches to send a camper to the Tech Trek camp for girls when it began in 1998 as a project of AAUW of California, and have sent campers annually each year.
EXPANDING YOUR HORIZONS
Today the local Tri-Valley conference is organized by staff at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and Sandia Laboratories. It serves girls in grades 6 – 9, and is held each year in February or March. AAUW-LPD provides support staff for the event each year; Contact Dot for more information on volunteering for this fun event.
A project which gets active branch support is Tech Trek, a science & math camp for girls entering the 8th grade, that was begun by AAUW-CA. One-week camps are held at various colleges and universities in California. Since the project began in 1998, we have sent local girls to the event. This year, we will be able to sponsor eight middle school girls to attend the Marie Curie camp at Stanford the week of July 10 – 16, 2016. Check out the Facebook page for a photo report of the entire camp week LAST YEAR.
Tech Trek is an sponsorship-based, STEM-focused camp designed to develop girls’ interest and excitement in science, technology, engineering, and math, as well as to increase their self-confidence. It features hands-on activities & field trips in math, science, and related fields. Instructors and guest speakers are local STEM professionals, from companies such as Pixar and VMWare. Campers have the opportunity to meet and learn from many successful women in STEM careers.
We have an active Tech Trek committee which distributes information about Tech Trek to local public middle schools to recruit applicants, conducts interviews and selects campers. Pre-camp orientation, as well as post-camp presentations and follow-up activities, allow Branch members to meet the girl attendees & hear about their experiences. In addition, Branch members are encouraged to volunteer as “Dorm Moms” for the week. For more information on being a Dorm Mom at a future camp, contact LPDTechTrek@gmail.com.
LPD’s eight 2016 Tech Trekkers are now back from a fabulous week on the Stanford Campus. Camp Curie once again offered our girls an eye-opening week of hands-on math and science. The girls enjoyed living in a dorm on campus, where they were well-looked after by their dorm moms, and spent each morning attending their core class. These included Marine Biology, Forensic Science, 3D Math, Engineering Design, App Inventor, and Cyber Security. Afternoons and evenings were spent exploring other areas, such as Robotics, Astronomy, and Nanotechnology, going on field trips, and attending a Professional Women’s Night where they met women in a variety of inspiring STEM careers.
Three of our Tech Trek Committee members (Carolyn Kotch, Karen Cowan, & Wendy Ping) attended the “Camp Curie Visit Day”, on July 14. We visited each of the core classes, and got to see the smiling faces of our campers & hear about their activities. We left wishing we, too, could be Tech Trek campers! We were so impressed with the dedication and flawless organization that Camp Director Pat Ivester & her team bring to Camp Curie.
In addition to hearing glowing reviews of how well our Trekkers were doing, we were thrilled to learn that LPD had 2 former Trekkers (from 2013) who were counselors this year. They received 54 applicants for counselor positions — but could only choose 6. And 2 of those 6 were LPD girls! We are SO proud of them! We’ll meet them and their parents at our September event.
All donations to Tech Trek are tax-deductible, and 100% of all donations go to funding local girl sponsorships. Local donations are the sole source of funding for these sponsorships, and thus determine the number of girls that AAUW – Livermore-Pleasanton-Dublin is able to send each year.
Every contribution makes a difference!
- $25/$50 Pays for a field trip for one camper
- $125 Provides for one full day at camp
- $425 Covers half of a sponsorship
- $850 Awards a full sponsorship
- $2250 Funds three sponsorships
Donations can be made by check, payable to AAUW, with “Tech Trek California – Stanford Curie” on the memo line and may be sent to: AAUW-LPD Tech Trek, P. O. Box 661, Livermore, CA 94550.
To donate online, go to http://www.aauw-techtrek.org/ , and click on “Donate to Tech Trek”., and follow the links. Very important: be sure to select the correct fund from the drop down menu on the donation form: “Tech Trek California – Stanford Curie”, to ensure your donation goes to LPD girls. For more information, contact Wendy Ping, AAUW-LPD Tech Trek Coordinator.
LLNL employees and retirees can also donate to AAUW-LPD Tech Trek through the Home Campaign, which supports local non-profits. Members are especially encouraged to support Tech Trek annually during the dues renewal period, but donations are welcome year-round, from anyone.
Beginning in 2016, Tech Trek has expanded to a nationwide AAUW program, using the successful California program as a model. The larger national program will be further sustained by investment and collaboration from foundations and corporations seeking a more diverse STEM talent pool.